Supreme Court Decides Cacho’s Rights Not Violated Enough

A screen shot from the film The fight for press freedom in Mexico was dealt a serious blow this week after the country’s Supreme Court found that the rights of journalist Lydia Cacho were not violated enough by the state governor of Puebla, Mario Marin, for action to be taken against him.

The Court rejected a report by its own Commission on Tuesday that found that Marin and 29 of his officials had conspired to violate Cacho’s rights. Its ten judges voted 6-4 yesterday that although there was evidence of criminal acts, and some rights violations did take place, they did not meet the ‘standards necessary’ for the court to recommend action to be taken.

The decision has infuriated the journalistic community and human rights groupsin Mexico, who after Tuesday’s recommendations from the Commission were optimistic that Marin would be taken to task for his role in the mistreatment and harassment of Cacho.

On hearing the outcome of the case, Cacho said: “The court’s decision is a defeat for Mexican journalists who inform the public and investigate cases linked to human-trafficking. Continue reading

Washington Post article on Oaxaca gets a beating

An article published in this weekend’s Washington Post, called “Oaxaca: One Year Later”, has prompted heavy criticism from people living in the southern Mexican state which this time last year was the scene of huge civil unrest and what one critic describes as ‘some of the worst human rights abuses in recent Mexican history; detaining, torturing, and raping men, women, and children who had taken to the streets demanding social and economic justice.’ (Please see comments below for a response from the author).

The writer takes the reader to a number of local restaurants and businesses in Oaxaca, whilst attempting to trace the events of last year, which culminated in the deaths of reportedly as many as 23 people.

But a local film-maker and others living in the city today have attacked the article for its lack of insight into the problems that ravaged Oaxaca tweleve months ago, in which IndyMedia journalist Brad Will was killed, as well as a local teacher and an unconfirmed number of other people. Continue reading

Fisk launches attack on ‘third rate journalism’

robertfiskJournalists have got to stop ‘kow towing’ down to those in power if they are to do their job, according to veteran British war correspondent Robert Fisk.

Speaking at a meeting of the Frontline Club in New York this week – watch the film here – Fisk launched a scathing attack on what he called third rate journalism, saying: “As long as journalists kow tow to power and sucks at the hind tit of power, wants to be close to power because it wants access, American official sources say, official sources say…as long as it does that your newspapers won’t be read and it doesn’t deserve to be read.”

Fisk, who is the Middle East correspondent for British newspaper the Independent and writes prolifically on politics in the region, picked up a copy of the LATimes and rallied against an article in the newspaper which used ‘several US official sources’ said as its only source repeatedly. Continue reading

Journalist files complaint against local businessman, northern Mexico.

A journalist in Northern Mexico has filed a complaint against a local businessman for assault and threats.

Journalist Víctor Rubén Hernández Guerrero, director of the Semana Ahora weekly newspaper in the state of Durango, says that he was assaulted and threatened in a restaurant by businessman Javier Quiñónez Ruiz. Continue reading

Mexican reform to change relationship between media and Government

A new electoral reform goes into effect in Mexico today that aims to redefine the relationship between the country’s major broadcasters and the government, and to level the political playing field.

The changes to the constitution could help improve the quality of media editorial in Mexico, and help it to become more politically independent than it currently is.

In a move which has been labeled an ‘attack on free speech’ by Mexico’s two major television stations, Televisa and TV Azteca, political parties have been banned from buying ads on television and radio stations.

Protests from the country’s two leading broadcasters are more likely due to the fact that they stand to loose millions of pesos of advertising income as a result of the reforms, rather than concerns for the right to free speech. Continue reading

Drug-cartels kill journalists, says CPJ. But what about the Government?

left_cpj_logoDrug-fuelled violence against the press in Mexico is spreading. A report released yesterday by the Committee to Protect Journalists says more journalists are being killed or persecuted whilst covering the drug trade and the powerful Gulf and Sinaloa cartels in the country.

But the research from the NGO fails to address the high levels of violence perpetrated against journalists by Governmental networks that are being reported up by other organisations in Mexico. Continue reading

Brad Will shot at close range, says investigation

The one-year anniversary of the death of Brad Will will be marked today in New York, Oaxaca and no doubt other places around the world.Brad Will was shot by an assailant (s) just 50 centimeters away, and not from a distance of 30 meters as originally thought, according to the latest findings of the investigation of the Attorney General on the case in Mexico.

Results from the investigation into the death of the American IndyMedia journalist, shot dead in Oaxaca just over a year ago, suggest that he could have been killed by fellow protesters or members of the People’s Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO), as well as government agents or infiltrators, according to newspaper reports in Mexico last week.

The finding that he was shot at such close range contrasts with past reports on the murder of the media worker, which placed his assassins at more than 30 meters from him, and also goes against evidence and reports that suggest that Will was in fact murdered by Government sympathisers or agents. Continue reading